Premier League football officially returned on Wednesday evening with two intriguing games, and tonight, the train will keep on rolling as Norwich host Southampton and Manchester United travel down to London to take on Tottenham Hotspur.
For us, and for many fans around the world, the latter of those two showdowns is obviously going to be viewed as the most appealing. Tottenham and Manchester United have both had inconsistent seasons up to this point, but both harbour realistic ambitions of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
What they have to do in order to do that differs, because while United could win the Europa League, Spurs are out of Europe and have to rely on where they finish in the league table.
One of the most notable common bonds between the two, especially in recent years, is the one and only Jose Mourinho. The controversial Portuguese boss knows how to make some noise, especially in English football, and he’s been carrying on that trend ever since taking over from Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs boss.
This is the kind of game that should give us an idea of what to expect from these clubs between now and the end of the season, but beyond that, it’ll be interesting to see how the lockdown has affected them.
Regarding the game itself, Mourinho has confirmed that Tottenham talisman Harry Kane will be starting for the hosts.
“He is working extremely well, I can tell you no problem he is going to start the game,” Mourinho said.
“Does he have 90 minutes, 80, 70, 60? I don’t know. Only the game will tell us that.
“Is he in his top form? We don’t know. It is not a little training session. He’s had around six months without playing a football match.
“But he has worked extremely well, he is an amazing professional and is going to start tomorrow.”
“We have to look to this incredible challenge in the way that every game we will try to win.
“At the end of the nine matches, we will see what we did and what our opponents did. Normally in these fights, you don’t have to depend as much as we do on our direct opponents. That is really difficult.
“But let’s focus on one match at a time. Tomorrow it is Manchester United, the points are there to fight for and that is what we are going to do.”
There’s also something to be said for how much the impact of a home game has been trimmed down now that there will be no fans present. Either way, this is going to be a fascinating game, and it really is tough to say which way it’s going to go.
Hopefully both sides are firing on all cylinders and will be able to bring the heat in a way that entertains the masses.
If not, then at least we’ve got a parade of other games to look forward to over the weekend. Football is back, and there’s a lot of catching up to do.